New high tech sports facility gives Paarl Boys’ High hockey the edge

New high tech sports facility gives Paarl Boys’ High hockey the edge

The new Turftech Rhino Turf hockey pitch, installed at Paarl Boys’ High School in the Western Cape, is set to improve player performance while reducing water and maintenance costs.

Coinciding with the 150th anniversary celebrations, Paarl Boys’ High School in the Western Cape has installed a Rhino-Turf hockey pitch by Turftech that will be used for high-level hockey games as well as a playground surface for the younger boys.

Turftech installed the Rhino-Turf sand-dressed hockey playing field as well as the Rhino-Turf VT32 multi-use turf around the playing field. Both turf surfaces can be used as play areas during break times, and the hockey turf will be used for the sporting codes like hockey.

“The installation started in mid-August 2018 and was completed at the end of September. This particular Rhino-Turf hockey product is renowned for enhancing player performance across various sporting codes and for hockey specifically it has been certified to FIH National standards guaranteeing strength in performance,” says Derek Swart, principal of Paarl Boys’ High School.

“With increased water scarcity, schools are shifting to the installation of artificial surfaces to play a variety of sporting codes, rather than the traditional grass,” he says.

Despite having only 892 pupils in the school, Paarl Boys’ has been ranked as the top rugby school in the country for three years running. In addition to this, the school is able to put forward 13 hockey sides which compete against several of the bigger hockey schools in the area.

“Previously, artificial turf was only used by the wealthier schools, but it’s now becoming a more viable option for many schools to control maintenance costs, while also remaining competitive in the sporting arena,” says Swart.

“We currently compete against a number of schools – all on artificial turf – so it was an easy decision to make. And, with the amount of hockey talent at the school, we owe it to our sportsmen to provide them with the best possible playing surface.”

Swart says the multi-functional aspect of Turftech’s installation – allowing for play and sports – made it a cost-effective option while also promoting the game of hockey among the primary school boys.

“We have received an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the installation from parents, pupils and staff, and – though we haven’t yet had a chance to try out the turf competitively – we are certain the new artificial turf will improve overall sporting performance.”

Phillip Prinsloo, sales manager at Turftech, says the highly competitive nature of school sports means that the facilities have to match up to the players’ performance.

“The sophisticated Rhino-Turf is moving sports, and the way people use the facilities, onto the next level, allowing South African schools to compete against the best. Pupils are now able to practice for much longer hours and – for hockey specifically – there is more consistent ball roll and play, speeding up the game.”

He says Turftech’s sports’ facilities also decrease the burden of cost and maintenance on the school: “Unlike with grass surfaces, there is no need for constant watering and upkeep. This means substantial water reduction, and no need for expensive maintenance equipment. Generally, the Turftech facilities will drastically increase property value while making the school more competitive.”